I have recently been told that I am one of the
millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private
citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a
In the past Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer
surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness.
We were happy that as a result many more people underwent testing.
They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy
So now, we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our
hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will
encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years
God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share
life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and
stay in touch with my friends and supporters.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's Disease progresses, the family often bears a
heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful
experience. When the time comes I am confident that with your help she will face it with
faith and courage.
In closing let me thank you, the American people for giving me the great
honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever
that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal
optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I
know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.
Sincerely, Ronald Reagan."